From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- John Farrell sat in the visitors' dugout at Fenway Park as talk intensified that he might be working in the other dugout next year.The Toronto manager looked up at two dozen reporters a month ago and told them that as Boston's pitching coach for four years under Terry Francona he learned an important lesson: think of the players first in making managerial decisions.If you do that, he said, "you probably are guided in the right direction to do the right thing."Since that session before the opener of the Blue Jays' three-game sweep of the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine has been fired as Boston's manager and Farrell has emerged as the leading candidate to take over. But he has a year left on his contract and the Red Sox would have to discuss compensation with the Blue Jays to make him available.Valentine didn't always make the players his top priority before he was fired on Thursday after going 69-93 in his only season, Boston's worst record in nearly 50 years.He said in April that Kevin Youkilis wasn't as physically or emotionally into the game as he had been, kept Jon Lester in a game long enough to allow 11 runs and said as the miserable season kept getting worse that the Red Sox had "the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball."Valentine's predecessor, Francona, rarely criticized players in public. Management likely is looking for the same from Valentine's successor.That's not the only difference in this year's managerial search from last year's, when Valentine wasn't hired until Dec. 1. That was 64 days after Boston's last game and 62 after Francona was let go."I'd prefer to have it done in less time," general manager Ben Cherington said of the current search, but it's more important to get the right person.The Red Sox likely will look for a person with different attributes this time than they did during last year's search, especially with a younger roster after the team traded high-priced, underperforming veterans Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August."The team is in a different point than it was last year when we hired Bobby," Cherington said. "The roster was fairly mature and we felt, mistakenly in retrospect, but we felt at the time, that we had a chance to win and the team was ready to win and we're now at a different point."But he refuted the suggestion that the Red Sox aren't ready to win next season."To be elite again we needed to make more than cosmetic changes," Cherington said. "So now we're very early in the process of doing that and we're going to work our tails off to put the best team we can out there in 2013 and build the next great Red Sox team. We don't know exactly when that will come to fruition."Others who could be candidates for the job are Cleveland interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr., Detroit third-base coach Gene Lamont and Toronto first-base coach Torey Lovullo, a former manager of the Red Sox Triple-A team at Pawtucket. All were interviewed by the Red Sox last year before Valentine was hired.Boston bench coach Tim Bogar and Baltimore third-base coach DeMarlo Hale, Francona's former bench coach, also could be considered.The Red Sox wanted to talk with Farrell last year but were rebuffed. The Blue Jays may be more willing after his second losing season in his two years in Toronto.Farrell was Boston's pitching coach from 2007, when the Red Sox won the World Series, to 2010 and helped Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz develop into productive pitchers. He's also familiar with many veterans and minor leaguers in the Red Sox system.And, as Cleveland's director of player development from November 2001 to the end of the 2006 season, he worked with current Boston assistant general manager Mike Hazen, who held scouting and player development positions with the Indians from 2001 to 2005.Farrell also worked with many current members of Red Sox management."Not only are they professional colleagues, on some level they became personal friends and we had success," he said on Sept. 7 as he sat in the third-base dugout. "We shared a lot of challenges along the way."That familiarity would make him a much safer choice than Valentine. Cherington preferred Dale Sveum, who ended up as manager of the Chicago Cubs.Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, a strong backer of Valentine when he was hired, said on Thursday, "as well as you may know someone casually or through the interview process, you get to know them better when you have a full season together. So, of course, (there were) some surprises, positive and negative surprises."The Red Sox would like fewer surprises and more stability from their next manager."I don't think there's a certain resume or background" necessary, Cherington said. "These jobs bring all sorts of challenges. There's a person who's right for the Red Sox job in 2013 who isn't right for another team's job or who might not have been right for our job last year or the year before."Farrell may be the right person this time, if the Blue Jays let him go to a team with a larger and more demanding group of fans and media contingent."Having worked in Boston," he said a month ago, "there's a tremendous fan base that is very passionate. The expectations are always very high, but, as a competitor, that's what you aspire to do."
It's that time of the week again where we answer your questions and make you the smartest Caps fans in the area.
This week, Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir and Capitals correspondent J.J. Regan sat down on Facebook to answer your questions live. They talk about who has impressed them so far this season, what was the best personnel move the team made in the offseason, what the team still needs to improve on and more. Check it out in the video below.
Penn Quarter Q&A - October 21, 2016
Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir and JJ Regan here to answer your hockey questions for this week's Penn Quarter Sports Tavern Q&A. Hit us up!Posted by CSN Mid-Atlantic on Friday, October 21, 2016
Don't forget, the Penn Quarter Q&A takes place every week. Follow CSN Capitals on Twitter for the latest updates on next week's Q&A.
In 2017, the Orioles will try to accomplish something they haven’t done in 20 years, play in the postseason in consecutive seasons.
While the Orioles have the most wins in the American League over the past five seasons (444), they played in the postseason in 2012, 2014 and 2016, but didn’t in 2013 and 2015.
Before each of the postseason years, the Orioles made key moves, whether it was in the traditional offseason months or at the beginning of spring training. In the years they didn’t qualify, their postseasons weren’t terribly active at all.
When Dan Duquette took over nearly five years ago, his first offseason included the signing of Wei-Yin Chen, trading Jeremy Guthrie for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom as well as drafting Ryan Flaherty.
He made some other moves during spring training and during the season, signing Miguel Gonzalez and Nate McLouth that became huge successes.
Following the 2012 season, the Orioles had a young and inexpensive team, and their only major moves were nontendering Mark Reynolds and re-signing McLouth.
The Orioles won 86 games in 2013, but finished out of the playoffs.
While Duquette was heavily criticized for inaction during the winter, he saw two players, Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez that offered good values, and he signed them early in spring training. A trip to the American League Championship Series followed.
In the offseason that followed, Duquette was rumored to be the next president of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Orioles quickly lost Cruz, Nick Markakis and Andrew Miller with no suitable replacements. A .500 season followed.
Last season featured Duquette making moves early and often—securing Matt Wieters for another year after he accepted a qualifying offer, trading for Mark Trumbo, signing Hyun Soo Kim, and re-signing Darren O’Day and Chris Davis.
In spring training, Yovani Gallardo and Pedro Alvarez were added.
This offseason, the Orioles don’t seem to have as many holes as they did a year ago, but for one of them, they must decide quickly what they’re going to do.
Wieters is again a free agent, and the Orioles must decide whether they’re going to seriously pursue him, or if he leaves whether they’ll fill the catching vacancy internally or externally.
There won’t be many quality catchers on the market, and the Orioles should move expeditiously to either sign or trade for someone who could start in 2017.
They could decide they think a combination of Chance Sisco and Caleb Joseph can handle the job, but that decision must not linger.
The Orioles must improve their depth so that manager Buck Showalter feels comfortable in resting Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop.
While the Orioles may try and re-sign Wieters and Mark Trumbo, they won’t be chasing after big ticket free agents early in free agency.
There are few quality pitchers on the prospective market, but there are some quality hitters including Alvarez, Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Carlos Beltran, Yoenis Cespedes, Ian Desmond, Edwin Encarnacion, Dexter Fowler, Kendrys Morales, Mitch Moreland, Colby Rasmus, Josh Reddick and Michael Saunders.
It’s not Duquette’s way to try and outbid other teams, but there are so many good hitters that perhaps one or two of these names, or ones from the second tier fall into the Orioles’ price range.
In order to improve their depth, the Orioles will likely again be active in the Rule 5 draft, but unless they move a pitcher or two from their current crop, it seems unlikely they can be flexible enough to keep a drafted pitcher on hand.
In 2015, the Orioles drafted Jason Garcia and Logan Verrett. They ended up keeping Garcia and sending Verrett back to the Mets.
Having Garcia on the staff complicated manager Buck Showalter’s use of the bullpen, and he was sent to Bowie to start in 2016, but didn’t raise many eyebrows.
Joey Rickard, the outfielder drafted last December, proved to be a useful addition who filled in for Jones and platooned with Kim before he was hurt.
If the Orioles find a pitcher they like they’d have to include him on a prospective staff that already includes starters Gallardo, Jimenez, Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Wade Miley and Chris Tillman as well as relievers Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, and Darren O’Day.
It’s more likely that a Rule 5 pick would be a position player.
While the early part of the offseason may include a series of smaller moves with bigger ones waiting for the market to settle, fans will undoubtedly criticize what they see as Duquette’s seeming lack of action.
They shouldn’t because in the end if he has a decent start to free agency, he usually has a strong finish—and so do the Orioles.